Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts

Saturday 4 June 2022

11 Ways To Avoid Weight Gain During The Holidays

Chances are you read that title and chuckled. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “That’s as doable as Santa going down millions of chimneys on Christmas Eve.”

But what if we told you it can be done? What if you had some science-backed techniques to help you? Then, would you believe us?


What have you got to lose? Read the 10 top ways to avoid gaining weight during the holidays.


Let’s get started!


Be Realistic


You know that the holidays are all about great parties and delicious food. So, pretending that you’re going to eat only one Christmas cookie is the exact opposite of realistic.


Instead of going extreme, try to be honest with yourself. Acknowledge that you’re going to eat more than you normally do and that you need to set some boundaries.


Impartial goals are hard, if not impossible, to accomplish. The best gift you can give yourself is improving your relationship with food.


Write down attainable goals and post them on your dresser or fridge. Seeing them each day will give you the power and confidence you need to apply your goals.


Make Smart Choices


An hour before heading out to a party or event, snack on some high-fiber foods, veggies, and proteins. All these will keep you feeling full for longer.


Then, once you’re at the event, use smaller plates. You’ll be forced to eat smaller portions.


Another smart choice is to chew slowly. We know that parties aren’t the best place to savor each bite. Yet, if you give it a try, you’ll notice how delicious everything is and you’ll feel full quicker.


Give Out Parting Gifts


Did you throw a party and now you’ve got piles of leftovers in the kitchen? Instead of getting stuck with the leftovers, why not pass them out as parting gifts?


You can invest in some disposable food containers, fill them up, and hand them out as your guests are leaving. Even better, pick containers with a holiday theme to earn extra hostess points.


Go Easy On The Alcohol


When you consume alcoholic beverages, you’re loading up on extra calories without even realizing it. For example, a regular beer has about 153 calories, while a glass of wine has about 133 calories.


Not only that, but excessive drinking makes you act irresponsibly, especially around food. So, let’s say you’d normally eat just a couple of snacks here and there.


When you’re inebriated, however, you’re more likely to throw caution to the wind. You may very well end up gobbling a plate full of cookies, rather than just a couple as you normally would.


Freeze Leftovers


If you don’t feel right about giving your guests leftovers, you can keep the extras. But don’t keep them in the fridge. Freeze them instead.


You’ll be less likely to reach for second helpings. Plus, you’ll have a ready-to-serve dinner all set for a later date.


Drink Water


Water is a bit under-appreciated, don’t you think? Sure, it’s colorless and odorless. But it provides us with so many health benefits, it’s hard to know where to start.


Since we’re focusing on avoiding weight gain today, let’s start with that. Drinking water regularly throughout the day will help you lose weight. It makes you feel satisfied, so you don’t eat as much.


More importantly, it’s not filled with artificial sugars that increase your caloric intake. Limit yourself to one glass of soda, juice, or wine each day.


Then, for the rest of the day, stick to water. You’ll start to feel less on edge and worn out because water washed out toxins from your body.


Chew Gum


Can chewing gum actually curb your appetite? The jury’s still out on that one.


But it’s a good way to distract yourself. Your mouth is already busy chewing one thing, so you’ll be less likely to help yourself to seconds.


If you prefer hard candy to chewing gum, that’s okay too. Just remember to get the sugar-free kind so you’re not harming your teeth.


Turn Off the TV


Eating while you’re watching TV has been linked to overeating and making poor food choices. You get sucked into whatever you’re watching. Then, before you know it, that newly opened bag of chips is now a loose pile of crumbs.


It’s not only mindless watching that gets you. It’s also all those commercials for processed snacks and sugary drinks that increase our cravings for low-nutrient junk foods.


Get Your Steps In


Not all of us can go to the gym three days a week during the holidays. There’s too much on our plates as it is!


So, to make up for it, you have to make a conscious decision to stay active. Why not use the stairs instead of the elevator? How about parking far from the mall entrance so you have to walk a few more steps than normal?


It’ll help burn off those extra calories. Plus, any type of physical exercise reduces stress and pent-up tension you may be feeling due to all the hustle and bustle of the holidays.




The holiday season is merry and bright. It’s also full of stress and anxiety.


The problem is that too much stress usually triggers cravings and overeating. And what’s the first thing you’re going to reach for when you’re anxious and tense? Sugary snacks packed with carbs, of course.


Studies show that there’s a direct link between stress-related eating and obesity. So, instead of letting the holiday strain get to you, try some de-stressors. This can be as simple as five minutes of doing mindful meditation or reading your favorite book.


If you prefer something more hands-on, why not treat yourself to a facial. You can even get a mani-pedi while you’re at it. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. You deserve it!


6 Signs You Are Aging Well

How old are you? Your chronological age or the number of birthdays you’ve had tells you how old you are. But are you aging well? Your physical, mental, and emotional health determine if you are aging well. Medical experts have identified these six signs that you are aging well.


1. Height and Weight


As people age, they normally lose a small amount of height. According to a study in Economics and Human Biology, people lose height at an annual rate between 0.08% and 0.10% for males and 0.12% and 0.14% for females. 


At that rate, you will lose between 2cm to 4cm over the course of your life. According to the University of Arkansas Medical Center, the cartilage between bone joints wears down over time, slightly decreasing a person’s height. If your height loss is within that range, it is a sign you are aging well.


Your weight also plays a role in how well you are aging. Doctors classify weight based on Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a calculation of body fat based on your height and weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), different BMI levels indicate a person’s weight status. 


The levels are:


BMI                           Weight Status

Below 18.5                Underweight

18.5—24.9                Normal

25.0—29.9                Overweight

30.0 and Above        Obese


Scientists have determined that a BMI of 25 or more is a risk for chronic disease and poor health. According to a study in Research on Aging, obesity is a health risk at any age, including as you get older.


2. Activity Level


Your activity level is also a sign of how well you are aging. When considering your activity level, think about your:


  • Posture
  • Exercise
  • Stamina
  • Independence


How well you carry yourself or your posture and how much exercise and physical activity you do reflect how much stamina you have throughout the day. Just as people normally lose some height, they also lose some muscle mass. 


According to the Harvard Medical School, after age 30, people lose 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade. This normal age-related muscle mass loss is known as sarcopenia. Less muscle mass means more weakness and less mobility. 


Sarcopenia also puts you at a greater risk for damaging falls. An American Society for Bone and Mineral Research found that people with sarcopenia have a 2.3 higher risk of breaking a bone if they fall.


Your activity level determines how independent you are. While it may take a little longer to do some activities, a sign you are aging well is how physically independent you are. 


3. Grip Strength


Another sign of aging well is your grip strength. According to a study in Clinical Interventions in Aging, grip strength is an independent sign of aging that reflects a person’s:


  • Overall Strength
  • Upper Limb Function
  • Bone Mineral Density
  • Falls and Fractures
  • Malnutrition
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Depression
  • Sleep Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Quality of Life


All of these health-related problems are signs you are not aging well. Good grip strength is a sign you are healthy and physically independent, signs of aging well.


4. Cognitive Ability


According to a study in Seminars in Hearing, your brain undergoes functional and structural changes as you age. These normal changes may lead to a decline in how fast a person processes information. Researchers have found that a healthy lifestyle reduces the risk for diseases that increase cognitive decline. Aging well lowers your risk for dementia and other cognitive issues.


5. Socialization


Humans are social creatures. A study in the Animal Science Journal showed that rats kept in isolation became more aggressive and had decreased cognitive function. Social scientists have found the same results in people who do not socialize with others. During lockdown for the COVID pandemic, four in ten people reported mental health issues. Before that, one in ten people reported mental health concerns. People who age well have a strong social connection to friends and family. 


6. Quality of Life


Regardless of how good or bad your physical and mental health are, your quality of life depends on your emotional health. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines actively aging well as the process of maximizing opportunities for health, participation, and security to enhance a person’s quality of life. Your mindset and outlook tell you if you feel you are aging well.

5 Habits Key To Maintaining A Healthy Weight

The Top Activities You Can Start Today


Trying to maintain a healthy weight can be challenging. With fast food restaurants readily available, busy schedules, and family, eating a solid, nutritional meal goes by the wayside. 


Alarmingly, the World Health Organization stated the following findings as of 2019:

  • 37 percent of American have cardiovascular disease.
  • 34 percent of U.S. adults have hypertension, a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease.
  • 36 percent of Americans have prehypertension, higher than normal blood pressure.


So, what does one do to start getting back on track? Start from the beginning. The following activities are readily available to you to maintaining a healthy weight:

Put away the electronics

In today’s society, almost everyone has a cell phone or computer. With busy schedules, often we check our phones when we eat. Justifying our behavior by doing two things at once. However, we are being destructive to our health. 

The reported in a recent article, “Eating while watching an electronic like the television, can lead to overeating or undereating. The brain becomes distracted by the program, and you can lose track of your calorie intake.”

Instead, use your mealtime as a break, both physically and mentally. Allow your mind to catch up with all the information it has received. Find a park bench where you can breathe in the fresh air and digest your meal properly before returning to work. 

Start first thing in the morning

Breakfast is one of the most skipped meals among American adults. As life has progressively gotten faster every day, eating is often skipped to get on with the day. Yet, as children, we are taught to always eat our breakfast before we go to school. Coffee is great, but we need more.

If you are jump up and run kind of person, keep a loaf of bread or bagels besides your toaster with some soft butter or sugar free jam. While you are putting on your shoes, toast your bread, put your topping on, and head out. If you are looking for something heartier, make breakfast burritos. Include veggies and eggs for added protein. This is also a great activity to do with the children. Create an assembly line and make enough for the week. Now the kids can tell their friends they made their own breakfast. It is a win-win. 

Do not fall back to old habits on your days off

When we do have a chance to relax and sleep in, old habits tend to creep up. This is the best time to check your diet. Use this time to try new healthy recipes and incorporate it into your weekly meals. This is also a good time to pack snacks when on the go. 

Treat yourself to a well-balanced meal a few times a week. Salmon and asparagus are great on the BBQ. For indoor meals try using your crockpot. A hearty stew with lots of vegetables is always a welcome meal. 

Use smaller plates

When plating your food, put it on a salad plate as opposed to a dinner plate. This convinces the brain that there is more food on the smaller plate, causing you to think your full when finished. This is called the Delboeuf illusion. It is the illusion our brains tell our hunger levels. When the same amount of food on large and small plates, is presented to the consumer, the consumer inevitably chooses the smaller plate believing they are getting more food. 

Next time you are having a healthy dinner at home, use the smaller plate for your main course and the larger plate for salad or vegetables. When dining out, ask for a side plate for your meal. If you are still hungry later, you will have leftovers to reach for. 

Go after the rainbow

This idea works great on salads and for snacks. The Centers for Disease Control recommend, “…federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1.5 to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables.”

When making your next salad, add some red peppers and mushrooms for added protein. When craving something sweet, make yourself a fruit bar. Add fresh sliced strawberries, blueberries, and bananas to a Greek yogurt. For added crunch add some low-fat granola. Each week try something new and begin enjoying eating fruits and vegetables again. 


In Conclusion 


Make sure you check in with your body when changing your diet. The idea is to change your habits, and way of thinking about food. Before long, you will enjoy the idea of cooking good food and eating healthier. As French Author Francois de La Rochefoucauld once quoted, “To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”


Sunday 22 May 2022

Stop Deferring Your Happiness – You Can Already Do the Things You Want to Do

One of the biggest wrong assumptions that the vast majority of people on this planet make is that they aren’t able to do the things they want to do. To clarify, the assumption that many of us make is that we don’t yet have the means to live our dreams and that the only way to do so is to work harder.


Thus we put off doing the things we want to do and we end up taking on more and more work until the point where eventually we are spending every waking moment either working or feeling stressed about work. 


I’m here to tell you that it’s time to stop putting off your happiness and to embrace it. Here’s how…


There’s Never a ‘Good Time’


One of the most common arguments people make for not travelling the world, starting their own business or building their own home is that it’s not a good time. Right now they have too many financial commitments, they don’t have enough money or they have too much else going on. You probably are all too familiar with this!


But now think back to all the other things you’ve achieved so far. Was it ever a good time? If you’re a parent, then was it a good time to have a baby? Was it a good time to get married? A good time to start a relationship? A good time to buy a house?

When we have to, we make things work. There’s never a good time so if you really want to enjoy living your life to the full you only have one option: do it anyway.


It’s Easier Than You Think


And actually, many of the dreams we have are much easier to fulfil than we might initially think. For example, if you want to travel then you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune or take a year off work.


How about identifying places a little nearer that you can travel to and then using budget airlines to go there for long weekends? How about a year of visiting the capital cities you can reach on short haul? That would be a fantastic year and doesn’t need to upend your life!


Want a better home? You don’t need to spend millions – just empty out your property of things you don’t need or redux your kitchen. You’d be surprised what a different small tweaks can make!


Tuesday 29 March 2022

Recreation—An Elusive Thing that You Have to Grab Hold of

In today’s hasty world, one thing that most of us have forgotten is that the human body needs to relax. We need to take time out for ourselves. Our bodies are more complicated than any machine man has ever devised. Even the best of machines requires to be energized in some way or the other and they need to rest if they have to work for a long time. But, with our own bodies—these amazing machines that nature has provided us with—we are completely laidback. We don’t realize the need of rest for our body machines. And therein lies a major problem.


Today, most people flinch at the prospect of rest. There is so much work everyone has taken up that resting seems like a taboo. It is something you should not speak of. It is something for the lazy people who can do nothing good in their lives… that’s the sorry impression we have about rest and recreation.


But this attitude can only take us faster to our graves. If our body doesn’t get the chance to recharge itself, how will it be able to continue functioning normally? How do you hope to make your body more productive the next day if you don’t rest today?


Rest is one thing; recreation is another. When we are resting, we are just shutting ourselves off from the world for a while. But when we are recreating, we do something that we enjoy. We enrich our minds when we recreate and at the same time our brain is happy because we are doing something that we love. It releases more endorphins and that’s the reason our entire body attains a state of natural felicity. This is a factor that can enhance our health in great measure.


However, the important thing is that recreation isn’t something that comes naturally to us. We have to take it. Like for hunger or thirst, we don’t have an instinct for recreation. That’s the reason we don’t ‘feel’ the need to recreate, but this is definitely something that we should do.


Whatever it is that we like to do—go for a walk, watch a movie, listen to a song, read a book, write something, talk with our friends, take the dog out, play with our children—we should do. We should spend time doing that for at least a few minutes every day. This makes our mind richer and our bodies fitter. If we want to make a well-oiled, productive machine out of our bodies, then we must not forget to give it its dose of recreation each day of our lives. 


Monday 28 March 2022

Meat Tradition

How did our family traditions get centered on consuming meat? Consider it. When we consider Thanksgiving, we consider turkey. If we consume pork, then New Year’s celebrations frequently revolve around pork and sauerkraut. At Christian Easter, the traditional meal is ham. And in the summertime, we wait for that 1st hamburger or steak on the grill. 


How did that occur to a species that was designed to eat veggies and fruits, nuts, berries and legumes? 


We may imagine that eating meat was at the start an opportunistic event, born of the need to survive. The taste of cooked meat, plus the prolonged energy that came from eating high-fat meat products made primitive sense even to earlier man.


At the start, finding cooked animal meat, from a forest fire, would have been cause for jubilation. It’s something everybody in a clan would have participated in consuming together. When man learned to hunt and moved to a hunting preference, instead of a hunter-gatherer orientation, he would have done this in groups. They'd have had to hunt in teams, and killing an animal for nutrients would have been a group attempt. Hunting and killing an animal meant food not simply for the individual, but for the clan, and would have been cause for festivity when the hunters brought the food home. 


If they fetched the animal back to the clan, it would have taken a group effort to skin the animal and tear or cut the meat from the carcass. Everybody would have taken part in this, and subsequently, shared in the payoffs of their work. 


It’s simple to see how, once we didn’t have to hunt for meat, but could buy it, the need for gathering and festivity was deeply ingrained in our natures. We observe the seasons and life’s events with loved ones and friends, and as those early celebrations involved eating meat, that tradition has kept going to modern times.


Hints for a Vegetarian Thanksgiving Day

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving Day at your home and are expecting vegetarian guests this year, don’t fret about preparing one large meat-eating meal, and a different separate vegetarian meal. Most vegetarians don't require a ‘meat equivalent’ at Thanksgiving. Yes, traditionally Thanksgiving Day has largely been about the food. But more significantly it’s about loved ones, togetherness, happiness and serenity. And if this is your 1st Thanksgiving Day after transitioning to a vegetarian life-style, try a few of these ideas to incorporate healthy food preparation into your meal that your vegetarian guests, and you as host, will be grateful for this Thanksgiving: 


Ø  Bake a little stuffing outside of the turkey. 

Ø  Make a little portion of vegetarian gravy. 

Ø  Keep cooking utensils separate to forestall "cross-contamination" between meat foods and vegetarian foods. 

Ø  When recipes are adaptable, utilize substitutions like vegetarian broth, soy margarine (the preparations without whey are suitable for vegans), soya milk, and kosher marshmallows which are made without gelatin. 

Ø  Utilize vegetable oils rather than animal fats for frying, and veggie shortening like Crisco for pie crust. 

Ø  Read ingredients lists cautiously on pre-packed foods, being aware of terms like gelatin, whey, and "natural flavors" that may be animal-derived. 

Ø  Fix plenty of veggie and fruit side dishes, but leave them plain. 

Ø  Provide plenty of breads, beverages, fresh fruits, and non-gelatin desserts, which are appropriate without modification for most vegetarians. 

Ø  Invite your vegetarian guest to cook a “Tofurky” or vegetarian ‘turkey equivalent’ entrée to share with you the rest of your guests, or if you’re hosting Thanksgiving Day, fix a small one. Your meat-eating guests may just be curious enough to wish to try it! 

Ø  Ask your vegetarian guest for assistance, tips, or recipes that would complement their vegetarian choice. You might find that your guest offers to help out in the kitchen or bring a dish from home. Please don't take a dish from home as an insult to your cooking; take it as a want to share traditions at Thanksgiving Day. Even meat-eating homes put up benefit from a healthy, nutrient-dense vegetarian recipe idea any time of the year! 

Ø  First and foremost - make gobs of new, delicious (not overly cooked) veggies that are perfectly in season like squashes, sweet potatoes, and green beans, and so forth.